From the very first, Max Rose's election to Congress was tragic. It was about nothing but his own careerism and boded ill for the folks in State Island and south Brooklyn who elected him in the 2018 anti-red/anti-Trump wave that swept Republicans like incumbent Dan Donovan out of office. Rose's Park Slope background had virtually nothing in common with NY-11 but the stars were aligned for him in 2018 and he received 101,823 votes (53.0%) to Donovan's 88,441 (46.6%). This year, fewer people turned out for Rose-- just 99,224 (42.0%), while Nicole Malliotakis rode Trump's coattails to a convincing victory-- 136,382 (57.8%).
Rose gave voters absolutely no reason to bother coming to the polls for him. He joined the Blue Dogs as soon as he was elected and targeted his reelection hopes in the swing district towards winning over Republicans. That, of course, alienated the progressives who helped elect him in the first place. His ProgressivePunch was a low "F." His 55.42% crucial vote score was too conservative for Democrats and too liberal for Republicans. So now he's running for mayor of New York City. A worthless reactionary, Rose is trying to paint himself as a "blunt populist."
Early this morning, the NY Times' Katie Glueck reported that Rose launched an exploratory committee, jumping into the crowded contest to oust de Blasio. So far, it looks like he'll be the only right-winger in the primary. She wrote that "Rose positioned himself as a blunt, populist possible contender who hopes to frame his background outside of city government as a source of fresh perspective rather than a mark of managerial inexperience. 'If you want someone with a typical politician, typical government experience, you’ve got plenty of other folks... But if you want someone with experience and guts and ability to end our broken politics, then I could be your candidate.' Taking an apparent swipe at rivals who are more rooted in local politics, he continued, 'If someone wants to tout their experience in city politics, then they certainly should not be pointing at problems that they helped-- big problems-- that they helped create. They can’t act as if they aren’t holding the shovel.'"
The first member of Congress to have endor$ed Bloomberg for president, in his new mayoral campaign he immediately began trying to sound like Trump, his apparent model: "This will be an underdog campaign. This would not just be a campaign that involves me being the underdog. This is a campaign that would be fighting for the underdog." Even during his losing congressional campaign, he decided to try to sound like he was already running against de Blasio with this childish and ineffective ad that convinced no Republicans and further alienated many Democrats:
The primary is June 22 and there are already around two dozen candidates. The question right now is whether Rose will be among frontrunners like city comptroller Scott Stringer, activist Maya Wiley, Andrew Yang, Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams and former HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and former city council speaker Christine Quinn, or among the also ran candidates like rapper Paperboy Prince or a pack of predatory Wall Street executives like Raymond McGuire.
For some reason, Glueck asked former corrupt congressman Steve Israel, who has never lived in NYC but who, predictably, supports McGuire, what he thinks about Rose's chances. Israel can always be counted on as a fount of pointless convention wisdom: "The city’s ideology is drifting leftward, and to survive in his district, Max had to reflect a less progressive ideology. On the other hand, it could be that the progressives cannibalize each other and then Max has a clear shot."
Rose probably should have switched his registration and run as a Republican, although they have a circus of a primary as well that includes the founder of the Guardian Angels, Curtis Silwa, right-wing multimillionaire grocer John Catsimatidis, someone named Cleopatra, and, potentially, Giuliani's son Andrew or Trump's son Don, Jr. (or even his daughter Ivanka).
Jeff Coltin gave a rundown of the serious contenders for City & State last week with a comment on why each could win or lose and he included Rose:
• Eric Adams
Why he’ll win: Adams has the political connections and the money, and is appealing to outer-borough voters with his law enforcement credentials and pragmatic politics.
Why he won’t: Adams is hard to define politically, and has courted controversy with comments on topics like gentrification and gun rights.
• Shaun Donovan
Why he’ll win: Obama trusted him for eight years, and he’s got real budgetary and housing credentials.
Why he won’t: Donovan has been a behind-the-scenes guy, and is about as exciting as dry toast.
• Kathryn Garcia
Why she’ll win: If she can win the hearts of the city’s garbage haulers, she can win over anyone.
Why she won’t: It’s her first foray into politics, and the association with de Blasio might not help as she introduces herself to voters.
• Zach Iscol
Why he’ll win: Wealthy military vet married to a glamorous wife? Sounds Kennedyesque.
Why he won’t: He’s unknown in the political world, and seems to lack a clear rationale for running.
• Ray McGuire (Vice chair of Citigroup)
Why he’ll win: He’s the proudly capitalist money manager that some New Yorkers have been eager to get back to since former Mayor Michael Bloomberg left office.
Why he won’t: Wall Street is the enemy to many Democratic primary voters. Just look at Bloomberg’s presidential run.
• Carlos Menchaca
Why he’ll win: He’s a person of color running hard to the left on a record of progressive purity-- a formula that’s been working lately.
Why he won’t: He has made more enemies than friends in seven years in the council, and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has all the momentum.
• Dianne Morales
Why she’ll win: Her unapologetically progressive platform and Afro-Latina identity speak to the political moment.
Why she won’t: She’s new to politics and will have a hard time raising the money necessary to get her name out.
• Max Rose
Why he’ll win: The charismatic vet knows how to make a good TV ad, and he had Democrats around the city-- and country-- rooting for him in his two House races.
Why he won’t: A “common sense moderate” on Staten Island is a “Democrat in Name Only” to Democratic primary voters citywide.
• Scott Stringer
Why he’ll win: Stringer is a political animal, with citywide executive experience, Upper West Side establishment credentials, a progressive track record and endorsements from exciting insurgents.
Why he won’t: Stringer doesn’t fit the mold of the progressive political movement he’s appealing to, and lacks the charisma of his main competitors.
• Loree Sutton
Why she’ll win: “It takes a general” is a great campaign slogan-- and who isn’t impressed by an M.D. psychiatrist?
Why she won’t: She’s running as a centrist, which probably won’t excite the Democratic electorate.
• Maya Wiley
Why she’ll win: She’s a charismatic #resistance star with police reform credentials and historic potential.
Why she won’t: The first-time candidate worked closely with de Blasio in a year when people are expected to be looking for an antidote.
Coltin noted that "Other New Yorkers who have filed with the Campaign Finance Board to run for mayor but are unlikely to impact the race include: Art Chang, Kevin Coenen, Edward Cullen, Thomas Downs, Vitaly Filipchenko, Cleopatra Fitzgerald, Aaron Foldenauer, Quanda Francis, Garry Guerrier, Miguel Hernandez, Max Kaplan, Abbey Laurel-Smith, William Pepitone, Paperboy Prince, Julia Reaves, Stephen Seely, Ahsan Syed, Joycelyn Taylor and Isaac Wright Jr."